GAMERella is the world’s longest running game jam focusing on supporting aspiring and emerging marginalized game creators and on of TAG’s flagship projects. Our latest initiative is to find similar, alternative game jams, share knowledge, and build a supportive community for the generous, but sometimes overlooked and undervalued organizers.
The first season of The GAMERella Podcast features interviews with a selection of alternative game jam founders and organizers from around the world. These 60-minute recorded conversations will present listeners with behind-the-scenes, narrative accounts of challenging, inspirational, and ordinary experiences that ensued during the process of game jam organizing. Interviewees will share their paths to innovative game-making and offer practical tips for emerging and experienced organizers. Desirée de Jesus, media scholar and previous GAMERella co-organizer, will conduct the interviews.
In this episode, educator, game designer, and co-founder of Pill Bug Interactive, Sean Walton discusses the challenges of organising educational game jams, navigating participant dropoffs, offering participation incentives, and using game mechanics to convey the nuances of complex topics.
You can download the transcript of this episode as a PDF from here.
The episode is available on Spotify, iTunes, iHeartRadio, and Spreaker.
Sean Walton is a Senior Lecturer in the Computational Foundry at Swansea University, where he runs the introduction to games programming module. He is interested in how we can use games and game design as educational tools. As part of this work, he was nominated in the 8th International Educational Games Competition for the “Love A Maggot” educational game. In 2018 with a team of academics he organised Climate Jam, a game jam where designers were tasked with creating games to communicate the complexities of climate science. Outside of academia he is the founding director of the independent games studio Pill Bug Interactive, who have shipped three titles, one of which was nominated for best video game created in Wales in the 2019 BAFTA Cymru awards.
Desirée de Jesus is a video essayist and moving images curator whose digital projects concentrate on girls, women, and folks of colour. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at York University. Her research uses experimental animation to reimagine Black girls’ critical resistance strategies and participatory filmmaking to explore racialized girls’ experiences of COVID-19 inequalities. Her experience with game jam organizing includes working as a GAMERella co-organizer and co-developer of GAMERella’s Game Jam Guide.
Produced by Gina Hara
Edited by Marc Lajeunesse
Music by Lyne Dwyer